Second Global COVI-19 Summit garners US$3.2B in new financial commitments

Chair of CARICOM, Prime Minister of Belize, the Hon. PM Briceno, co-hosting the 2nd COVID-19 Summit (Photo via Belize MFAFT)

CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister John Briceno of Belize, on Thursday said the Community was committed to the global goal of doubling down on “what we know works” to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

But he warned that achievement of that goal depended on improving accessibility to vaccines, financing and political commitment.

The CARICOM Chair made the assertions at the Second Global COVID-19 Summit which he co-hosted with the United States as the first COVID-19 Chair; Germany, which holds the presidency of G7; Indonesia, which holds the G20 Presidency; and Senegal as Chair of the African Union. The Summit aimed to accelerate collective efforts to ensure more persons are vaccinated; that there is enhanced access to tests and treatments; that the health workforce is protected; and that there is finance and health security for future pandemics and other health crises.

The Summit garnered new financial commitments totaling $3.2 billion that includes nearly $2.5 billion for COVID-19 and related response activities and $712 million in new commitments toward a new pandemic preparedness and global health security fund at the World Bank, according to the White House.

“Now is the time to double on what we know works – testing, vaccination, treatment and appropriate public health measures. We must accelerate efforts to inoculate 70 per cent of the population especially those with co-morbidities. CARICOM is committed to this global goal,” Prime Minister Briceno said.

He added: “To get there, however, will require more efforts to improve accessibility to vaccines including paediatric vaccines. Likewise, financing and political commitment are required to overcome operational and logistical impediments in difficult to reach areas…”

Listen to the remarks Prime Minister Briceno made at Session One of the Summit:

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